Directed by: Conrad Vernon, Greg Tiernan – Starring: the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Snoop Dogg, Bette Midler, Allison Janney
I’m going to assume that everyone reading this is familiar with The Addams Family in some capacity, whether from the oft repeated 1960s TV show, the hugely popular movie series, the stage musical, or even the original comics.
The characters are so iconic that they are frequently parodied in popular culture, and a quick glance around any Halloween costume shop shows many variations on their iconic look, of course, for copyright reasons, they have names such as ‘Midweek Child costume’ (instead of Wednesday Addams!).
This latest incarnation of the creepy and kooky, mysterious, and spooky, family’s saga forgoes live-action for animation, but boasts a stellar voice-cast.
Beginning with Gomez and Mortica’s wedding day, they are run out of town by an angry mob (very reminiscent of scenes in James Whale’s classic Universal creature-feature, Frankenstein) and they flee to New Jersey, where they set up their home.
Fast forward thirteen years, and a reality TV Host, Margaux Needler (Janney) decides that the Addams aesthetic and attitude doesn’t fit her plans for a perfect community, that she is building, so she determines to rid the town of them. Obviously, the Addams don’t take this lying down, leading to an ensuing war with the town.
One of the things I always loved about the Addams Family is that it was quite dark. However, this offering is almost frothy in its approach. While the star-studded cast do a great job (particularly Theron and Janney) the movie always just feels a little bit – lightweight!
Since this is a family movie, there are lots of messages about accepting others even though they are different to you, accepting ourselves, the importance of family…and it all feels a little contrived. The 60s TV show managed to get all of this across, but in a more deliciously melodramatic and gloomy fashion – while always remaining humorous.
Of course, many LOs won’t be familiar with the show, and perhaps haven’t been exposed to the live-action movies yet, so this will be their introduction to the ghoulish but loveable clan. And there is definitely much for them to enjoy here. The animation allows the larger-than-life characters to exaggeratingly express their personalities, in a way that even the best special effects don’t allow in live-action, and it is extremely eye-catching.
Overall though, this is a fairly rote story, and a tame handling of classic characters, who have so much more to give. However, for a family Halloween half-term cinema, it will do the trick, and should keep everyone happy.
In Cinemas 25th October! Trailer below: